An election observer group, Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth and Advancement, YIAGA, has said that the April 11 gubernatorial election in Akwa Ibom state did not take place in approximately 70 percent of the state.
The group described the eventual results of the election, as declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, as a fraud.
The group also said the election was marred by several cases of violence and intimidation across the state.
The group, which stated this at an interactive session with journalists in Lagos on Wednesday, said that some electoral officers, the police and other security personnel were complicit in the abuses.
The interactive session was also attended by the All Progressives Congress governorship election candidate in Akwa Ibom State, Umana Umana, who was defeated by Peoples Democratic Party’s candidate, Udom Emmanuel.
“It is safe to say election was only held in one or two local governments in Akwa Ibom as against the make believe massive turnout and favourable result declared in favour of the PDP Candidate Udom Emmanuel. It was reported that slight voting took place in Etinan, the few places that were set up had no result sheets while voters were allegedly teargased in several parts of Uyo and Akwa Ibom in general,” the group said.
Speaking further the group said, “In a place on Oron road in Uyo, we saw one of the white buses belonging to the state being used to convey snatched ballot boxes and we have that on video”.
The observers also said that there was no collation of results in Akwa Ibom but surprisingly, election results were announced at 4:58p.m. the next day and 92% of the votes were given to the PDP candidate.
Addressing journalists, Mr. Umana said, “I wish to tell the world that election did not take place in Akwa Ibom on April 11. What we had was enthronement of the candidate imposed by ex-Governor Godswill Akpabio”.
“Take for instance in a state like Lagos, results were announced as they trickled from units. That way, the winner and the loser gradually knew what to expect at the end of the day. But in our case, people were intimidated. In cases where it looked like election would be conducted, security agencies fired tear gas claiming some persons were unruly. This happened in a unit where an 82-year-old woman was also waiting to exercise her right.
“She and others were not only disenfranchised, a case of human rights abuse could also be established. So, what went down and what we witnessed in Akwa Ibom is far from cheering,” he added.
Mr. Umana said he was willing to use all legal means to have the election result upturned.